Overview and Holistic Wellness for ADHD:
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Many people have heard of ADHD. It may make you think of kids who have trouble paying attention or who are hyperactive or impulsive. Adults can have ADHD, too. About 4% to 5% of U.S. adults have it. But few adults get diagnosed or treated for it.
Who gets adult ADHD? Every adult who has ADHD had it as a child. Some may have been diagnosed and known it. But some may have not been diagnosed when they were young and only find out later in life.
While many kids with ADHD outgrow it, about 60% still have it as adults. Adult ADHD seems to affect men and women equally.
Adult ADHD Symptoms
If you have adult ADHD, you may find it hard to:
Finish work on time
These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can change over time. They may cause trouble in many parts of life -- at home, at work, or at school. Getting treatment and learning ways to manage ADHD can help. Most people learn to adapt. And adults with ADHD can develop their personal strengths and find success.
Challenges People With Adult ADHD Face
If you have ADHD, you may have trouble with:
Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
Trouble concentrating when reading
Trouble controlling anger
Problems at work
Low tolerance for frustration
Poor organization skills
Substance abuse or addiction
These may affect you a lot, or they may not bother you much. They can be problems all of the time or just depend on the situation.
No two people with ADHD are exactly alike. If you have ADHD, you may be able to concentrate if you’re interested in or excited about what you’re doing. But some people with ADHD have trouble focusing under any circumstances. Some people look for stimulation, but others avoid it. Plus, some people with ADHD can be withdrawn and antisocial. Others can be very social and go from one relationship to the next.
Nutrition and ADHD
Nutrition for ADHD diet is well-balanced, with a generous portion of fruits and vegetables paired with whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins. This diet ensures your nutritional needs are met and helps keep your mind and body in their best state.
Current studies show that various nutrients can help improve your ADHD symptoms. Conversely, a lack of certain nutrients may worsen your symptoms and affect your ability to manage them effectively.
What Should an ADHD Diet Include?
Fruits and Vegetables
Some research suggests that the symptoms of inattention associated with ADHD may improve with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables
According to the CDC, adults should have at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.
Complex carbohydrates are found in many foods, including:
Fruits like apples, kiwis, and berries
Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and whole-wheat bread or pasta
Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils
These types of complex carbohydrates are less likely to spike your blood sugar levels and help keep you feeling fuller for longer, which may help improve your focus and attention.
By avoiding simple carbohydrates, like sugar and white flour, you may reduce specific ADHD symptoms.
Protein-rich foods include eggs, lean meat, milk, cheese, nuts, soy, and low-fat yogurt. These foods can help maintain a feeling of fullness and prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
Some research also found that having a protein-rich breakfast can help enhance mood, attention, and alertness.
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, may help support your heart health, memory, and immune function.
Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include:
Fatty fish – such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
Foods to Avoid
Sugary Foods & Simple Carbohydrates
Soda or carbonated beverages
Candies and sweets
Cakes and cookies
Fruit juice concentrate
Kid’s breakfast cereals
Processed foods, such as granola bars and potato chips
Caffeine affects everyone differently. Some adults with ADHD may have to limit their caffeine consumption, as it may bring about side effects such as insomnia, nervousness, irritability, stomach discomfort, and anxiety.
Vitamins and Minerals for Your ADHD
Nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals are unnecessary if you have a well-balanced diet. Always consult your healthcare professional to find out if the following supplements may be helpful for you.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins while limiting sugar, refined carbs, and saturated fats.
Of course, you should consult your healthcare professional before you make any drastic changes to your diet. And it’s essential to remember that small and consistent changes are more likely to be sustainable and helpful in the long run.
By taking care of your body’s nutritional needs, you set your brain and mind up for success!
If you’d like support on your journey of healthy living with ADHD, check out Luneau Holistic Wellness Services
Of course, a good diet shouldn’t be your only priority. Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness, Breath-work, Living in Gratitude. If you’d like to learn about other healthy ADHD habits, Check out the services Luneau Offers.
Tammy P Drummond-Rowland, RN HN
Holistic Nurse / Wellness Advocate